The Essential Neck Stretch for Pickleball Players

Pickleball players often overlook the importance of neck flexibility, yet it plays a crucial role in maintaining agility and preventing injuries on the court. Personal trainer Brady Burman-Magday highlights a specific neck stretch that can be a game-changer for players dealing with stiffness. This exercise not only enhances neck mobility but also contributes to overall performance.

The Neck Stretch: Step-by-Step

1. Find a Suitable Surface:

  • Use a firm bench, chair, or couch.
  • Ensure it’s stable and at a comfortable height.

2. Positioning:

  • Sit on the ground and place your head near the edge of the chosen surface.
  • Your head should be comfortably resting on the edge.

3. Leg Placement:

  • Extend your legs out in front of you.
  • Keep them straight and aligned with your body.

4. Raising the Hips:

  • Carefully raise your hips upwards, creating a bridge position.
  • Your body weight should be supported by your neck and feet.

5. Hand Assistance:

  • For beginners, use your hands to gently support your neck.
  • As you grow more comfortable, try to reduce reliance on your hands.

6. Hold the Stretch:

  • Maintain this position for 5 seconds.
  • Focus on a steady, controlled breathing pattern.

7. Repetition:

  • Gently lower your hips back to the starting position and repeat the stretch.
  • Aim for multiple repetitions, gradually increasing the duration as you build neck strength.

Watch and Learn

To truly understand the mechanics of the neck stretch, watch personal trainer Brady Burman-Magday’s video for a clear guide on how to perform this stretch safely and effectively.

Additional Tips for Optimal Results

Incorporate Regularly:

  • Include this stretch in your regular warm-up and cool-down routines to maintain neck flexibility.

Progress Gradually:

  • Start with shorter durations and increase as your neck becomes stronger and more flexible.

Listen to Your Body:

  • If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

Enhancing the Stretch for Advanced Players

For those who have mastered the basic neck stretch, consider these variations to further challenge and strengthen your neck muscles:

Weighted Stretch:

  • Place a light weight on your forehead to add resistance.

Dynamic Movements:

  • Incorporate gentle side-to-side or up-and-down movements of the head while in the raised position.

Longer Holds:

  • Gradually increase the hold time, aiming for up to 10-15 seconds as you progress.

What do you think?

Written by Pickle Pete

Pete is a semi-professional pickleball player known for his powerful serves and strategic play. Growing up in Austin, Texas, Pete was introduced to the sport at a young age and quickly developed a passion for the game. His athleticism and dedication to training have made him a formidable opponent on the court.

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